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After getting vaccinated - FAQ

What should I do if I experience symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

Some people have side effects after being vaccinated (such as tiredness, headache, and pain at the injection site), which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. If you develop respiratory symptoms like runny nose, cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste, these are not side effects of the vaccine and you should consider getting tested for COVID-19 or talk to your healthcare provider. It is possible to get COVID-19 even after you get the vaccine. Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others. If you have any significant pain or discomfort, talk to your healthcare provider, who may recommend over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area, and use or exercise your arm. To reduce discomfort from fever, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly. In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal, but contact your healthcare provider if:
  • the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours

  • your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

How long after getting the COVID-19 vaccine does it take to be effective?

It usually takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it's possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. You are considered fully vaccinated if you have received recommended doses of vaccine more than 14 days ago.

How long does protection from the COVID-19 vaccines last?

We do not have data yet to say for how long the COVID-19 vaccines will provide protection. Experts are working to learn more about both the protection someone gets from having an infection (also called natural immunity) and protection someone gets from the vaccine.

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